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Justin Jefferson

Star signs massive deal

The Vikings signed Justin Jefferson yesterday, which seems like good news for fantasy coaches. That's one less contract worry, and it's a key domino in what will be a lot of top wide receivers signing contracts in the weeks to come.

The cynical might say it's not all good. While it's true that one guy signing sometimes moves along other contract discussion (CeeDee Lamb, most likely, will be signing a deal for $1 more at some point soon), it also creates other contract dramas. Tyreek Hill, for example, might now be looking for a salary bump (his agent indicated as much yesterday). Everybody wants to be No. 1.

Since entering the league four years ago, Jefferson has been pretty close to No. 1, on a per-game basis. He averages a league-best 98 receiving yards per game over that time. But Hill's agent can point out that not only his Hill only just behind him in that regard (94 yards per game; both are 7-11 yards per contest ahead of everyone else), but he's done a better job at getting in the end zone. Hill's 47 touchdowns over that timeframe are ahead of everyone but Davante Adams.

But back to Jefferson, who has the obvious advantage of youth -- just 24 years old for another two weeks. Hill (30) and Adams (31) are older guys. While Jefferson is the one who just missed almost half the season, he seems like a better investment.

In PPR leagues, those have been the big three over the last four years (per-game). All are up in the 20-21 point range, just ahead of Cooper Kupp (who's played in about half a season less than any of them) and Ja'Marr Chase (a full season less).

Table shows per-game numbers from the top wideouts to play at least half the time the last four years, sorted by PPR points. I cropped the table at 11.

Tyreek Hill646.894.14.2.7321.0
Davante Adams646.987.3.0.8020.4
Justin Jefferson606.598.3.5.5319.6
Cooper Kupp537.
JaMarr Chase446.
Stefon Diggs666.781.4.0.5718.3
Keenan Allen537.
CeeDee Lamb666.
Amon-Ra St. Brown496.473.23.7.4616.9
A.J. Brown615.480.3.1.5716.8
Deebo Samuel504.566.016.7.6416.6
Mike Evans644.769.1.2.7215.9
Calvin Ridley375.372.2.6.5315.8
DeAndre Hopkins525.772.2.2.4615.7
Chris Godwin586.
Jaylen Waddle475.372.0.9.4015.1
DK Metcalf664.867.2.1.5514.8
Tyler Lockett655.
Amari Cooper634.969.7.2.4414.5
DJ Moore664.869.72.2.3714.2
Adam Thielen625.
Tee Higgins564.665.8.5.4413.9
Diontae Johnson615.460.41.5.3413.7
Brandon Aiyuk614.464.01.9.4513.6
DeVonta Smith504.863.6.0.3913.5
Mike Williams474.464.8.1.4113.3
Terry McLaurin664.866.11.1.2913.3
Brandin Cooks604.759.11.1.3913.0
Michael Pittman625.459.11.6.2613.0
Jakobi Meyers584.855.2.5.3612.5
Christian Kirk604.458.3.5.3712.5
Marquise Brown584.652.8.5.3612.1
Russell Gage404.648.7.2.3311.4
Nico Collins393.857.0.2.2911.3
Curtis Samuel494.
Chase Claypool433.850.33.9.3311.2
JuJu Smith-Schuster454.746.3.2.3011.1
Jarvis Landry344.348.81.5.2911.1
Corey Davis363.655.9.0.3111.1
George Pickens343.457.11.2.3011.0

We've got a few guys ranked ahead of Jefferson for the 2024 season. Lamb, Chase, Hill and Amon-Ra St. Brown will all be working with the same quarterback they were working with a year ago, while Jefferson will get some combination of Sam Darnold and J.J. McCarthy.

But hard not to love Jefferson over the long haul. And it's nice to have that contract situation out of the way. Lamb, Chase and it sounds like Hill still need to get that situation fully ironed out.

--Andy Richardson

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